National Library of Bhutan

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National Library of Bhutan
Druk Gyelyong Pedzö
National library of bhutan-dz.svg
National Library-Thimphu-Bhutan-2008 01 23.jpg
The National Library of Bhutan, Thimphu
Country Bhutan
Type National library
Established1967(52 years ago) (1967)
Coordinates Coordinates: 27°29′00″N89°37′56″E / 27.48333°N 89.63222°E / 27.48333; 89.63222
Legal deposit Yes, since 1999
Other information
Budgetsome Nu.3 million - was borne entirely by the Royal Government of Bhutan (i.e. without any foreign aid).
DirectorHarka B. Gurung (2010 to present)
Website The National Library of Bhutan homepage

The National Library of Bhutan (NLB) (Dzongkha: Druk Gyelyong Pedzö འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཡོངས་དཔེ་མཛོད།), Thimphu, Bhutan was established in 1967 for the purpose of "preservation and promotion of the rich cultural and religious heritage" of Bhutan. It is located in the Kawajangtsa area of Thimphu, above the Royal Thimphu Golf Course, near the Folk Heritage Museum and the National Institute for Zorig Chusum (Traditional Arts and Crafts).

Thimphu Thromde in Bhutan

Thimphu is the capital and largest city of Bhutan. It is situated in the western central part of Bhutan, and the surrounding valley is one of Bhutan's dzongkhags, the Thimphu District. The ancient capital city of Punakha was replaced as capital by Thimphu in 1955, and in 1961 Thimphu was declared as the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan by the 3rd Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

Bhutan Landlocked kingdom in Eastern Himalayas

Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, it is bordered by the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China in the north, the Sikkim state of India and the Chumbi Valley of Tibet in the west, the Arunachal Pradesh state of India in the east, and the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal in the south. Bhutan is geopolitically in South Asia and is the region's second least populous nation after the Maldives. Thimphu is its capital and largest city, while Phuntsholing is its financial center.

Folk Heritage Museum A museum in Thimphu

The Folk Heritage Museum or Phelchey Toenkhyim is a museum in Thimphu, Thimphu District, Bhutan.



The National Library and Archives of Bhutan. National Library and Archives, Bhutan, 2014-05-14.jpg
The National Library and Archives of Bhutan.

The National Library of Bhutan was first established in 1967 under the patronage of HM Queen Ashi Phuntso Choden (1911–2003), with a small collection of precious texts. The library was initially housed within the central tower (utse) of Tashichodzong. Later, due to its growing collection, it had to move to a building in the Changgangkha area of Thimphu.

To provide a permanent home for the sacred religious books and manuscripts in the growing collection, construction of the present four-storeyed eight-cornered traditional building, which looks like the central tower temple of a Bhutanese Dzong, in the Kawajangtsa area of Thimphu was initiated. The cost of the construction of this building was borne entirely by the Royal Government of Bhutan without any foreign aid.

This building, which houses the collection of traditional texts, was inaugurated and consecrated as a temple by H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche on November 23, 1984 in order to provide a sacred space for the religious books which form the bulk of the collection. The library moved into its permanent home at the end of 1984 under the auspices of the then Special Commission for Cultural Affairs.

Dilgo Khyentse Tibetan Buddhist Lama

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was a Vajrayana master, scholar, poet, teacher, and head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism from 1987 to 1991.


  1. Geshe Tshewang (1967 to 1973)
  2. Lopen Pemala (1973 to 1993)
  3. Sangay Wangchug (1993 to 1999)
  4. Mynak R.Tulku (1999 to 2004)
  5. Dorjee Tshering (2005 to 2007)
  6. Gyonpo Tshering (2007 to 2010)
  7. Harka B. Gurung (2010 to present)

National Archives [1]

The National Archives is responsible for collecting and preserving important past, present and future documents on Bhutan for future generations.

In July 2000 Denmark signed an agreement to support the National Archives to provide assistance for the construction of a modern archive building. This two storied building, which was completed in 2004 is equipped with a modern security and fire alarm system as well as temperature and humidity control.

Our National Memory Bank

The repository rooms of the archives now house many important documents including old records, old letters and around seven thousand important photographs. The archives also hold microfilms of many other important documents. Particularly rare and important books and manuscripts from the National Library collection are also kept in their secure and controlled facilities. Thus the archives is the foundation of our National Memory Bank.

The National Archives solicits co-operation from all concerned in its effort to create our National Memory Bank. We therefore request individuals and institutions, inside and outside the country holding important documents and other material related to Bhutan which may be of interest to future generations, to provide copies for our National Archives.

Microfilming Facility & Service

The National Library offers a free microfilming service for institutions and individuals within Bhutan holding important and rare texts and documents. They actively encourage anyone holding such documents to bring them to the library for microfilming in order to ensure the long term preservation of the contents of these documents should anything happen to the original. Upon microfilming the original text or document will be returned to the provider along with one microfilm copy, and one copy will be held in the archives in safe and secure controlled storage conditions.

Conservation & Preservation

The archives primarily deals with paper documents. Paper is composed of organic materials which deteriorate with the passage of time. Documents printed on modern paper often contain bleaches and other chemicals which can speed up this deterioration. Similarly photographs and film often contains chemical traces left over from processing which can cause deterioration. Therefore, when documents or photographs are selected for preservation it is important that they are treated to neutralize these harmful chemical residues.

National Assembly of Bhutan hereby enacts this Legal Deposit Act: An Act to Collect, Preserve and Manage Bhutan’s Documentary Heritage in July 20, 1999 to legally collect and save print, non-print, electronic, audio visual and electronic texts, all the forms of documents that relate to the Bhutan and national interests. There are eight parts in the Legal Deposit Act.

Future Plans

In the 10th five-year plan the National Archives plans to carry out a nationwide survey to determine where records of national importance are located; and in what form, shape and condition these records are being maintained. If such records are not being taken care of properly we will endeavour to assist the owners and custodians of these records to ensure their proper preservation.

They also plan to create special Oral History Tradition and Audio Visual Unit to survey, create and maintain Oral History and Audio Visual documentation for the nation.

Highlights of the collections

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Chagri Monastery

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  1. "National Library & Archives of Bhutan: Archives". Retrieved 2017-06-23.